Friday, September 30, 2016

Friendships

Me with my longtime friend Don M. - 46 years


From time to time I reevaluate my life and my friendships.  Like most people I like people to like me.  And like most people, I have found that no matter what I'm like or what I do, some people just don't like me.  

I admit that for most of my life this fact has bothered me.  "What can I do to make people like me more?" I often thought?  I sometimes would go to great lengths to make certain people like me, especially those I liked and (thought) I respected.  


My longtime (53 years) friend and former boss Bill P.

A few years ago I came to the realization that no matter what I did, some people just would never like me.  

Was it because I didn't do what they wanted me to do (for them?)  Was it because I didn't let them control my life? Was it because I didn't give them enough?  Or was it just because they didn't like a tall, skinny, bearded guy who expressed his opinions?


My longtime (68 years) friend Bill B. at our 50th Class Reunion 2009

Gradually I came to accept the fact that just being myself was abhorrent to certain people.  Should I change myself to suite them?  Absolutely not.  

I recognize and accept the fact that I am not a perfect person.  Oh sure I can use the tired old cliche "No one is perfect."  In fact I just did.  But I am far from perfect folks. 

Here are just a few aspects of my personality that I recognize that are less than perfect:

My immaturity
My tendency to freely express my opinions
My independence and resisting at being controlled by others 

And here is perhaps the biggest "imperfection", my irresistible impulse to proclaim "The emperor has no clothes!" 

So at this time of my life, my "Twilight Years", I think back to friends I have made and lost.  


Larry, my longtime (65 years) friend and I at 10 Downing Street Restaurant

One thing is apparently clear in those friends I have made and who are still friends with me.  

They accept me as I am, imperfections and all.

That too me is the true test of a friend.  And the same holds true in reverse.  I have friends who I accept as they are, even though there are aspects of their personality that I don't like.  I like them because overall they are good people.  I overlook those parts of their personality where they come up short as they do my personality.


Bill K., my longtime friend (52 years) and husband - I must have a thing for "Bill's"

Most of my longtime friends have seen the bad side of me.  When I haven't been too kind to them at times.  Did they get freaked out and ban me from their life?  No they didn't.  Just as I didn't get freaked out when they let me down.  

Then there are those who ended our friendship over the first misstep on my part. Know what? Those friendships probably weren't friendships at all and it is just as well that they ended.

In my senior years I have discovered many benefits.  One of the main benefits is that I am finding things that I used to care about I don't care about anymore.  Especially those friendships that I have lost.  You know what? That's on them.  It's also good for me.  

I know who I am and I'm not a bad person.  In fact I'm a pretty good person.  Could be better?  Certainly.  I could give all my money to charity and volunteer all my time to soup lines.  But I don't and never will.  But I will continue to be who I am and in these golden years of my life, content with who I am.


My new "longtime" (three years) friend Pat F. and me at the Marathon Restaurant Philadelphia PA


Looking at these photos of my best friends, they all have one thing in common.  They know me, the bad and the good and they still like me!  Now that's a real friend, and they have my total respect and friendship. 








Wednesday, September 28, 2016

What Do I Do With All My Old Porn Tapes?



Now that's a simple question: what DO I do with all my old VHS porn tapes?

This is a question that has been haunting me for the past twenty years.  At one time, before the prevalence of access to the Internet, the only way one could "indulge" was by either renting or purchasing porn tapes.  

Back in the nineties I used to rent porn tapes when I work in Philadelphia.  I would rent the nasty relief tape at a video rental store a few blocks from the bank during my lunch hour.  I would furtively bring them back to my desk then to my home at the end of the day and return them the next day.  This was back in the day when you could only rent a VHS tape for one day.  Yes, this was BNF (Before Netflix).  I always worried I would leave the plain brown paper bag



that contained the tape at my desk and it would be discovered and I would be revealed for the perv that I am.  Never did happen, thank goodness.

I tried this for awhile then I changed because one day wasn't long enough to have access.  Plus I hated the stress of concealing the tape and worry about losing or misplacing the tape.  

Then one day I received an ad in the mail.  I don't know how they got my address but got it they did.  This ad was for purchasing VHS porn tapes.  Ah ha!  The only hitch was the price . . . . . . . . . . . . . $59.95 each.  I thought about it for awhile and decided to take the plunge.  

The first tape I received was about a pizza boy delivery (HOT! HOT! HOT!).  That was the first tape of many over the following years.  Interestingly the first tape I receive was the best of all I have received.  All told I think I purchased about (and I'm embarrassed to admit this) about thirty tapes.  There was one other tape which was pretty good ("Rawhide") but the rest?  I wouldn't miss them.  So what do I do with them?

A few years ago I gave some to a friend.  I thought I would hold on to the rest.  But guess what?  I don't look at them any more.  Don't need to anymore at this time of my life. I don't need any damn stinking porn tapes. Now what do I do with them?

The friend that I gave the tapes to has left.  Another friend suggested that I can give the tapes to a gay bookstore in Philadelphia, which is what I might do.


Giovanni's Room bookstore, Philadelphia, PA
  
I was concerned what would happen when I died.  And die one day I surely will.  I warned my sister-in-law that there are "personal items" that she would probably not want to look at when going through my belongings. Now that I am approaching my End Days, I think I would like to remove this one concern.  

I'm going to Philadelphia the day after my birthday in November.  I think I'll take those tapes with me.  

Problem solved.  

Trump Mocks Woman's Weight

Alicia Machado, Miss Universe 1996 photographed this year May 2016

Donald J. Trump has created another controversy.  He doubled down on Hillary Clinton's reference to him mocking a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, weight.  

Miss Machado was Miss Venezuela when she won the Trump owned Miss Universe contest in Las Vegas in 1996.  After she won the Miss Universe contest she apparently committed the horrendous mistake of gaining weight.  Trump publicly called her "Miss Piggy" and "Miss Housekeeping" (because of her Latina heritage).  

However, name calling wasn't enough.  (the following is from a New York Times article):

Trump, as executive producer of the Miss Universe pageant insisted on accompanying Ms. Machado, then a teenager, to a gym, where dozens of reporters and cameramen watched as she exercised.  

Mr. Trump, in his trademark suite and tie, posed for photographs beside her as she burned calories in front of members of the news media.  "This is somebody who likes to eat,", Mr. Trump said from inside the gym.

I remember when his awful treatment of this Miss Universe happened.  That was twenty years ago.  I cringed when I heard and read how he was treating her.  I couldn't believe it but I don't remember anyone in the news media broadcasting their outrage of his treatment of Ms. Machado. 

Donald Trump and Alicia Machado 20 years ago at the gym where he publicly humiliated her for gaining weight
 
The Trump campaign is supposed to be concentrating on courting the vote of suburban woman, I don't think his doubling down on his actions towards the former Miss Universe helps that effort. 



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who Won the Debate?



Did you watch the debate last night? I did with about one hundred million other people.

Who won the debate? My immediate reaction was that Hillary won the debate because she was better prepared.  Donald Trump was clearly unprepared and ran out of gas after the first ten minutes.  He retreated to his, sometimes, nonsensical answers.  He interrupted, made faces and generally reinforced the notion that he was temperamentally unprepared to be president. 

But you know what folks?  I don't think there will be a significant change in the polls after this debate.  And certainly he didn't lose any of his supporters.  They know their candidate.  And they accept him as he is.

I took off work last night to watch the debate uninterrupted.  I didn't waste my time.

God! Would't you like to read their minds during this handshake?



Monday, September 26, 2016

Happy 88th Birthday to My Bill!





Today is the 88th birthday of my best friend, companion, partner and now husband for the past fifty-two years.  

I compiled this slide show of some of the hundreds of photos I have of Bill.  Starting with Bill as a five year old rascal, the youngest of three (two older sisters), and ending with Bill teasing my Mother.  

This slide show will give you an idea of what I've been living with for the past fifty-two years.  It's all good folks.  Well, most of the time anyway.

Happy birthday Bill! You'll outlive us all!


Bill at the Atlantic Ocean in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Clash of the Titans

Godzilla


Only one more day folks until 

THE DEBATE

Of course you all know what I'm talking about.  The televised event that is predicted to be the most watched televised event since the moon landing, the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Are you ready folks!  I am!

I even took tomorrow night off of work so I wouldn't miss one second of this face-off between two of the most disliked candidates for the presidency of the United States in our modern history.  

Notice that I posted a photo of the most feared monster of our times, Godzilla.  I'll leave it up to your interpretation as to who Godzilla is.  I for one know who Godzilla is in my world should HE become elected president.  




Friday, September 23, 2016

Niagara Falls Evening - Ron and Pat's Excellent Adventure



 
Hey folks, I'm getting better at stringing my short videos together in a short movie.  Here is my videos from my recent visit to Niagara Falls with my friend Pat.  I now know how to add a title and an ending.  Now I have to clean up my video clips but this video will give you a flavor of what our evening was like visiting that tourist mecca of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.  Always fun!

Enjoy!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Our Visit to the Delish Restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada




Continuing with my recent annual holiday in Ontario Canada, this is video of our visit to the Delish Restaurant in downtown Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Pat is moving to Hamilton next year.  He wanted to show me around his new home.  We're in the discovery mode.  

We found this wonderful restaurant owned and run by a Costa Rican immigrant named Erick Merlos.  

While the area around the restaurant has clearly seen better days, finding this restaurant was like finding a diamond in a desolate street.  

Hamilton has nowhere to go but up.  And what a delight it was to find this Delish restaurant!  



To be continued:


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Canadian National Exhibition - 2016



The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), also known as The Ex, is an annual event that takes place at Exhibition Place in TorontoOntarioCanada, during the 18 days leading up to and including Canadian Labour Day Monday. With approximately 1.5 million visitors each year, the CNE is Canada’s largest annual fair and the fifth largest in North America.[2] The first Canadian National Exhibition took place in 1879, largely to promote agriculture and technology in Canada. Agriculturists, engineers, and scientists exhibited their discoveries and inventions at the CNE to showcase the work and talent of the nation. As Canada has grown as a nation, the CNE has also changed over time, reflecting the growth in diversity and innovation, though agriculture and technology remain a large part of the CNE today. To many people in the Greater Toronto Area and the surrounding communities, the CNE is an annual family tradition.

The following description of the Canadian National Exhibition I lifted from Wikipedia this morning. 

This year for the third year I visited the CNE with my Canadian pal, Pat F. 

I LOVE carnivals! I attended my first carnival in my hometown of Downingtown, Pennsylvania when I was about nine years old.  Oh sure, I know carnivals are corny and not high brow, but I have always loved them.  Must be my white trash background.  You'll never see me at a Shakespeare Festival but you will see me at carnivals like the CNE! 
 
Shakespeare - too highbrow for this half a hillbilly white trash blogger


The above video is one I strung together from several short videos that I recorded from my iPhone during our visit a few weeks ago.  Be forewarned, this is the first of several videos that I will post to this blog.  

I hope  you enjoy the experience as much as Pat and I did!

Me and Pat waiting in line at CNE


To be continued:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Finally, Quiet



Last night I slept well. Unlike Saturday night which I kept being awoken by the drone of thousands of motorcycles roaring up Route One all during the night.  Ah, quiet, how sweet it was. So nice to get a good night's sleep.  

I knew when I posted my whining on my Facebook account that I would receive blowback.  This time from my niece and her daughter who have boyfriend/husband who are cyclists. She called me a grumpy old man which I do not deny.  I proudly declare myself a GRUMPY OLD MAN.

I would expect them to defend and justify their men.  My niece even tried to justify all that noise pollution by saying "They're doing it for charity."  Oh give me a break.  They're doing it because they like to be noticed by making a LOT of noise.  I noticed, okay?

Another person left a comment on my blog about "live and let live."  Hey, I'm all for the "live and let live" but all that noise for thirty six hours straight?  

Every year they have this testosterone orgy Bike Fest. I know they make a lot of noise pollution roaring down the Coastal Highway (Route One) to their ultimate destination in Ocean City Maryland.  I'm prepared for that noise because it's mainly during the day.  But this year was different.  Instead of a horde of cyclists swarming locust like up the highway on Sunday afternoon, they started Saturday evening and continued throughout the night, spaced out.  Every time I got to sleep I was awoken a few minutes later by yet another overweight, balding rat-tailed, greasy cyclist with his well worn moll hanging onto his spare tire (and hot his motorcycle spare tire but the spare tire he carries around his waist) roaring up Route One.

I had a fitful night's sleep for the first time since they had Bike Fest Week.  Somebody changed something.  Hopefully next year they'll go back to their previous migration pattern and have their cacophony of noise on a Saturday during the day.  

Last night was so pleasant.  Quiet.  I slept like a babe.  Actually, I slept like a contented Grumpy Old Man.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Motorcycle Noise - Bike Fest Week 2016



For the past twenty-four hours I have been enduring the almost constant drone of motorbikes going up and down Route One.  

This week is Bike Fest Week at Ocean City, Maryland. 


Ocean City Bike Week


Over 100,000 bicyclists gather once a year at Ocean City to pump up their testosterone with the roar of their unmuffled motorcycles.  




Folks, I have too tell you that the (almost) constant drone of those motor cycle engines reverberating off of Route One which borders Casa Tipton-Kelly is starting to get to me.  In fact, that motorcycle roar is driving me crazy.




    One of the main reasons I moved out of center city Philadelphia was that I couldn't take the almost constant squeal of police sirens.  After years of listening to those police car sirens screaming, I just had to get away from the source.  We moved to the country, in the middle of the woods, where (we thought) there was peace and quiet.  That lasted a few years until our neighbor died and his property was sold and subdivided.  The new owners adjoining our quiet wooded oasis had four ATV's which they drove around the perimeter of their property for hours on end.  Drove me crazy.  Such a shame because we moved to the country for peace and quiet.  


Thank goodness this Bike Fest is only once a year.  But I didn't get much sleep last night because of the roar of those motor bike engines.  Even as I type this blog the motorcycles continue to roar up Route One.  

I took these videos this morning after my walk to show you all what I have been listening to for a good twenty-four hours now.  

Oh for peace and quiet. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Have I Got Driveway Seal Coating Deal For You!




Yesterday, just as I was preparing fresh tomato soup (from garden fresh tomatoes given to me by my neighbor Bev), Bill said "Someone is coming to the door." "Oh great, what now?" I thought.

I go to the door and open it to find a middle aged man with a big smile on his face.  Ah, my friend!  This man, also named "Bill" said "My guys are in the neighborhood paving driveways and I see your driveway is breaking apart (it's not) and I can offer you a deal today."  Whoopty doo!

Folks, living in a development as we do, do you have any idea how many times we have had someone knock on our door offering us a "deal" IF we get it done today because "his guys are doing driveways in the neighborhood?"  Let's just say this wasn't the first time I've been offered this "deal." 

Bill and I moved into this neighborhood ten years ago. We've never had our driveway professionally recoated.  Bill has recoated it several times but not too well. It looks patchwork and I'm sure that's what attracts the Driveway Guys.


Our "broken up" driveway

Earlier this week our neighbor to the right side of us had his driveway recoated.  It was a single young guy who took all day to redcoat it.  It wasn't a group of men with the tank of hot tar.  Just a single guy with cans of coating which he applied with a brush. 

Both Bill and I liked the job he did so I asked our neighbor how much it cost.  She said $465.  Sounds about right to me.  I asked her for his information which she gave to me. I planned to call him to see if he could coat our driveway next spring.

Then yesterday I get this other driveway coater ringing my doorbell and offering me a "deal."  He told me he had already done several driveways in my neighborhood.  I asked him if he had done this one particular driveway which has always impressed me during my morning walks through the neighborhood.  He didn't know which one so he offered to drive me to show me.

I climbed into his huge truck and we drove to  my neighbor's driveway which I had in mind. He said "Yes", he had done that driveway.  I asked him how much he charged for that driveway.  He said $4,200.  WHAT?  When we lived in Pennsylvania I had a five hundred driveway completely put in over a gravel road for $5,000.  Granted, that was back in the 90's but prices haven't changed THAT much.




He said he would give me a "special" price since "his guys were in the neighborhood" (there we go with that phrase again) for $3,000.  I don't think so folks.

Now during all this time this guy was all smiles and acting like my best friend.  I noticed a huge diamond ring on his finger,



which occasionally blinded me as the day's sun rays were reflected off of the many faceted diamonds in his rings.  I looked at his HUGE truck.  His brand new truck.  Not that there is anything wrong with wearing diamond rings (I have several myself) or owning and driving a monster truck.  But $3,000?  Hey folks, I'm looking at a dental bill in the next few weeks that's going to cost close to $4,000 (something I haven't written about yet but I will).  

I asked him for his card and told him "I'll think about it."  Immediately his Best Friend smile dropped from his face and he wrote on the back of his card how much it would cost me

to get my driveway recoated if I didn't get it done today.  

He lost me with that reaction.  Folks, do you have any idea of how many times I've been confronted with that old tried and true salesman tactic of "If you don't get it today this is what it will cost you?"  Too many times, that's how many.  

It's taken me a lot of years to wise up to these high pressure sales tactics.  The "I'm your friend" tactic and "if you don't buy this product or service you're going to disappoint me" tactic. 

Now I don't know if this guy is one of those driveway scammer that flood the southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware homes but I do know that I don't respond to those kind of tactics.  I'm always suspicious when someone rings my doorbell and is offering me a deal with the caveat that I have to "do it today."   Nope, I won't go there.  

Now having said that, during my walk last night through the neighborhood I saw where three of my neighbors did get their driveways resealed.  So maybe this guy is legit.  Even so, $3,000 is a lot of money just to reseal a driveway.  Plus I didn't like his tactics.  However, I will check with my neighbors so see how much they paid.  

Life in the Fast Lane here folks. I definitely don't lead a dull life. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Caregiver Ron



Today I made the transition to a new role.  I am now an official caregiver.

I've been easing into this role for a few years now. Today was the first time I accompanied Bill to a medical visit and identified myself as a caregiver.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was accepted as Bill's caregiver immediately.  

Regular blog readers know that Bill failed his driver's license test last month.  He failed the eye test.  I took him for an eye examination and they found he has cataracts.  He has to have them removed in order to get his driver's license back.

Bill is hard of hearing.  Bill also has a harder time as he has aged for retaining information he receives from his medical visits.  Too often he has come back from a visit to his doctor with confusing information.  He answer is usually to say "the hell with it."  I can't let him do that anymore.  

Bill will turn 88 years old in two weeks.  He has been in remarkably good health for the most of his life including the fifty-two years we have been together.  We have both been very lucky with our health.  However time marches on and health issues are inevitable.

Thus I sat with him today during his pre cataract surgery examination.  He was thankful and I felt good.  Bill has taken care of me for most of my adult life and now it is my turn to take care of him. I am thankful I can do this. 






Vote Early (and often)

My polling place early this morning - Henlopen High School - sun not quite up yet


Up early this morning folks to vote in the primary!  

I always vote.  Even when I don't know the candidates or their positions on issues, I vote.  When in doubt vote Democrat I say.

My polling location is the local high school.  Which is a drag because today is a school day.  That parking lot fills up fast.  Lots of the kids today have cars unlike when I went to school in the Fifties when only some of my very well off classmates were chauffeured to school.  And there were even the rare classmate who had their own car!  Sure wasn't me though.

Getting to the high school is a hassle because of the school buses and the individual cars either driven by the students or their helicopter parents dropping them off.  I decided to take the "back way".  HA!  You know how that worked out.  I took the wrong road so I had to circle around to the main road and come up to the school through Lewes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find not much traffic at 7:05 AM bong into the school parking lot.  I parked at one of the numbered slots.  I'm sure it was reserved for some privileged student whose parent bought him or her a car.  Well, I'm parking there anyway.  Deal with it.

I walked past the Usual Suspects that hang out at the entrance to the polls, including the Republican table.  I did a wide swing around THAT table. 

I entered the building and signed in.  Since this is a primary I had to vote my registration, which is Democrat (and which I am VERY proud).  I entered the curtains and perused the selections.  I voted for the candidates who claim they will increase Social Security benefits, protect LGBT rights, and who looked sincere in their smiles on their flyers that were sent to my home last week.  

I pushed the green button to register my vote, pulled the curtains apart and exited.  My civic duty done for another election.

I've been voting since 1964.  Back then I had to be 21 years old before I could vote.  Yes Virginia, I joined the Army at 18 years old and could die for my country at that age but I couldn't vote until I was 21 years of age.  Thank goodness someone finally got some common sense and changed that law although in today's climate, where the current version of the Republican party (not the Republican party I knew when I was a registered Republican) is all about surpassing the vote, would probably change the law back to being eligible to vote at 21 years of age.  No kidding folks, I'm serious.  That's what the Republicans would do today to keep young people from voting.  But I digressing to a rant again aren't I? 

I always feel good after I vote.  Of course the next vote is the BIG ONE.  And of course you know who I'm voting for.  It's not the Deplorable One.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Wallpaper Photos For My Blog

I took my wallpaper pictures of the clouds from the window to the immediate right of the door out of the plane

Have you noticed my new background blog wallpaper?  I know you've noticed that I change my header photo often, sometimes daily. 

All of my header photos are taken by me.  I could use other photos but I like to make my blog personal.  But one frustration I've always had is the background wallpaper.  I've always wanted to make it personal but I could never find the right photo.  The photos that I take, while good (in my opinion) were either too distracting or not the right size.  I wanted a background wallpaper photo that covered the whole background without repeating.  

For the past eleven years since I started this blog, I've been experimenting with different photos I've taken as wallpaper background.  Nothing worked. Finally, I found a photo that worked.  Like all such discoveries I don't know what I did, only that it worked!  

The wallpaper photo of clouds on this blog is a photo I took out of the window of my recent flight to Buffalo, New York.  I had a window seat, which I paid a little extra money to secure.  I made a good investment.

While looking out the window I was fascinated by the clouds and the shadows on the earth below those clouds. I pulled out my ever ready iPhone and took some pictures. From my peripheral vision I could see the the seated flight attendant ever so slightly roll her eyes. A slight smile creased her lips.  Oh yes, I was the classic goofy tourist.  I don't care.  Really, I DON'T care what anyone thinks of me anymore.  Well, actually I do care but I don't care that what anyone thinks of me when I whip out my iPhone to take photos and videos. 

So I'm here to tell you folks that I have now have an extra dimension to my blog, personal wallpaper photos! Now to improve my content.  By the way, still no ads on my blog except for those annoying "SKIP THIS AD IN 4 SECONDS" when I post my videos that I've uploaded to YouTube.  For that I apologize but I don't have a choice. If I upload my videos to Google, the quality isn't good.

Always working to improve folks. Thanks to all of you who have been with me on my blog journey. 




Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Greystone Manor, Niagara Falls


The Greystone Manor Bed and Breakfast, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Continuing with my recent Canadian holiday, the Greystone Manor is the bed and breakfast I chose for our overnight stay at Niagara Falls in Canada. 


Then dining room

The living room
Pat in the stairwell to the first floor from our room

Last year Pat made our overnight accommodations for our stay in Niagara Falls. I forget the name of the hotel but it was one of those chain hotels that cater to families. Folks, even though I've been in the hotel business for the past eighteen years, I'm finding I'm not predisposed at staying at these touristy, kid worn out hotels.  I was going to say at hotels but I held back because this year we stayed at a Best Western in Hamilton, Ontario, which was probably the best hotel I've ever stayed in.  So I can't make a blanket judgment.  



Pat resting in our room - NO RUGS ON THE FLOOR!

I did my research this year and I chose a bed and breakfast on the Canadian side of the border of Niagara Falls called the Greystone Manor.  I choose well.

Located a short distance from downtown Niagara Falls, on a quiet street, the Greystone Manor was an ideal location.  We were greeted warmly (with a smile!) as we exited our car.  We were expected!  

"Lisa" showed us around the delightful Victorian style house where we were going to spend our night.  Ah, no kids.  No worn out rugs from the rug rats. No surly front desk personnel burned out by all the tourist families with their little kiddies. No dirty carpets. No noise. Ah yes, accommodations for two senior men who are way past the family accommodations.  Oh why it took me so long to discover bed and breakfasts.  

The Greystone Manor was spotlessly clean.  No rugs.  And did I say quiet?  Oh yes, I did.  

We were shown the dining room where our breakfast would be served.  I have to tell you folks, the next morning when we had our breakfast that was the first time in my life I've been treated like that.  Wow.  So this is how the Other Half lives?  It's a shame that Pat and I aren't big breakfast eaters but it was a pleasant surprise to be treated like special guests.  

You know folks, I wasn't going to go back to Niagara Falls next year but after our delightful experience at this bed and breakfast, I'm going back!


Spain's Got Talent



Hey folks, I don't usually post You Tube videos other than my own but I absolutely have to share this You Tube video with you.  It's from Spain's Got Talent show.  This is the best surprise talent I've seen since Susan Boyle's performance. 

Enjoy!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Niagara Falls

Me viewing Niagara Falls 1966

The first time I visited Niagara Falls was in 1966.  I guess you could say it was our (me and Bill's) honeymoon trip.  

Back then I was very impressed.  Oh sure, I had heard all about Niagara Falls as the ultimate honeymoon destination.  I always wanted to go back.  Last year, when Pat picked me up in Buffalo, for my annual holiday with him at his home in Toronto, he surprised me by booking a room at a Niagara Falls hotel.

Pat and me at Niagara Falls last year (2015)

We had perfect weather.  I wanted to take that boat ride on the Niagara River.  Pat didn't.  So we didn't.  See, I don't always get my way (smile).  


The American side of Niagara Falls last year 2015

This year again, Pat picked me up in Buffalo.  This time I booked at room at a bed and breakfast, which I will write about in my next blog.  


This year at Niagara Falls by the intrepid duo of Pat and Ron - 2016

Again, I pushed for a ride on the Maid of the Mist



but Mr. Pat was unenthusiastic about such a proposition.  However, we did take a ride on the Sky Wheel, a gigantic Ferris Wheel.  What a view of the falls from the Sky Wheel, especially at night with the lights on the falls!

We did a lot of limping walking around Niagara Falls.  Pat with his bad leg and me with my new sneakers which was pinching my big toe.  Oh why didn't I break those sneaks in first?  So there we were, two Old Men limping around the tourist clogged streets of Niagara Falls.

The next day we visited the Falls.  This year the weather wasn't as cooperative but the Falls were still very impressive.

I asked two Japanese tourists to take this show video of me and Pat.



No matter the weather, Pat and I always have a grand time!

This will probably be our final visit to Niagara Falls. Unless Pat agrees to go on the Maid of the Mist.


Me in front of Niagara Falls 1967

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Home From Canadian Holiday!

Me on way to board propeller plane back to Philadelphia

I'm back home folks!

I see my last post was my last day in Hamilton, Ontario.  Oh so much has happened since then.  

Pat and I returned to his home in Toronto.  We attended the Canadian National Exhibition, also known as "The CNE."  

The crowds, lights, sounds, rides, games of chance, food, smells, and (did I say?) CROWDS!  

Then "home" and visits to our favorite restaurants like Aroma, Udupi Palace (Indian), the Big Carrot.   This is my third trip to Toronto to visit Pat and we always have to visit these restaurants.  My trip to Toronto wouldn't be complete without these visits.  Pat did try to take me to a few new restaurants but that didn't work out.  One restaurant that he was especially anxious for me to visit was the Swiss Chalet.  That didn't work out because as soon as I discovered a two month old "baby in a basket" that was at the table across from us, I got up and left.  I told the hostess "I don't eat at restaurants with babies in a basket."  I prefer a dining without the smell of baby poop and ear piercing screams of a baby that doesn't want to be in a restaurant.  I also don't dine at restaurant where the Mother breast feeds her baby at her table which is what happened two years ago when Pat and I were dining at the Cafe Azafran restaurant in Rehoboth Beach.  Please excuse my rant but I just don't understand why parents bring their babies to restaurants.  Can't they afford a baby sitter or do they think their "miracle from God" is so precious that they want to share their baby with other patrons in a restaurant. Again, my apology for my rant.  Back to my trip.

Yesterday Pat drove me to Buffalo to catch my prop plane back to Philly.  Prop plane?  I felt like I was in the final scene from "Casablanca."  What's with the prop planes?  However I was told by one of my fellow passengers that American Airlines is phasing out the prop planes and replacing the with jets.  About time I would say.


My fellow passengers boarding the propeller plane at the Buffalo airport yesterday morning

The weather was perfect at the Buffalo airport. In fact, all week the weather was ideal.  Wow!  I sure did luck out.  By the way, the Buffalo airport is probably the best airport I've ever been in.  Clean, efficient and plenty of outlets for charging my digital devices (iPhone and Macbook Air).  Unlike LAX, which (and I can't believe this) has almost NO outlets for charging smart phones or other digital devices.  



Me waiting ann charging my iPhone at the Buffalo airport. 

I paid a little extra to get a good seat on the prop plane back to Philly.  Check out these cool videos that I took of my view right next to that propeller. Of course the thought crossed my mind what if I saw one of those propellers drop off?  This thought was especially on my mind because, while waiting to board my plane, I was talking to another airline passenger who told me that the front wheel fell off his plane departing from Chicago!  You just never know folks when your time is up.  Thankfully my fellow passengers and I arrived home safely yesterday in Philadelphia.

My ride was waiting for me at the baggage pickup point.  Our two hour ride back to southern Delaware was on traffic free roads, unlike last year when I made the mistake of returning on Labor Day.  Never again will I make that mistake.

Bill was waiting for me when my ride drove into my driveway.  I was home.  Oh, and the heat and humidity was back.  Now I know I'm really home.

Always good to get away folks but always good to get home again.  

Many, many thanks to my host in Canada, my good friend of three years Pat.  

Thank you Pat for being so patient with me and treating me to one of the best holidays I've ever had.  Your reward is waiting in Heaven.